"The Color Purple" Cast and Creative Team
September 4, 2018
THE COLOR PURPLE
Based upon the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment motion picture.
Book By Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis & Stephen Bray
Directed by Timothy Douglas
|Danea C. Osseni*||Nettie/Ensemble|
|Nia Marché*||Church Lady/Ensemble|
|Ithica Tell||Church Lady/Ensemble|
|Lauren Du Pree*||Church Lady/Ensemble|
|Gregory Brumfield*||Preacher/Ol' Mister/Ensemble|
|C. Mingo Long*||Pa/Ensemble|
|Chaz Lamar Shepherd*||Mister|
|Isaiah Tyrelle Boyd*||Harpo|
|Lana Gordon*||Shug Avery|
|Darius Smith||Music Director/Conductor/Keys 1|
|Jeffrey Childs||Associate Music Director/Keys 2|
|Marc Grafe||Reed 1|
|Mieke Bruggeman-Smith||Reed 2|
THE CREATIVE TEAM
|Darius Smith||Music Director & Conductor|
|Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi||Choreographer|
|Tony Cisek||Scenic Designer|
|Kara Harmon||Costume Designer|
|Peter Maradudin||Lighting Designer|
|Matthew M. Nielson||Sound Designer|
|Sharath Patel||Associate Sound Designer|
|Jeffrey Childs||Associate Music Director|
|Ithica Tell||Fight Captain|
|Neil Totton*||Dance Captain|
|Janine Vanderhoff*||Stage Manager|
|Kristen Mun*||Assistant Stage Manager & Fight Choreographer|
|Alexis Ellis-Alvarez||Production Assistant|
|Molly Shevaun Reed||Production Assistant|
|Harriet Bass||New York Casting|
|Will Cotter||Local Casting|
|Brandon Woolley||Local Casting|
The Actors and Stage Manager in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
MEET THE CAST
Emmy Award nominee, two-time Helen Hayes Award winner (Outstanding Lead Actress), Broadway World Award winner (Best Lead Actress), Jeff Award and Suzi Bass Award nomination (Best Lead Actress). Broadway: Josephine Baker in Shuffle Along; Diana Ross in Motown; Felicia Farrell in Memphis. National Tours: Felicia Farrell in Memphis; Deena and Lorell in Dreamgirls. Regional highlights: Anita in Jelly's Last Jam at Signature Theatre; Medea in Medea at Bay Street Theatre; Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar at Paramount Theatre; Aida in Aida at Sandler Center; Aldonza in Man of La Mancha at Barrington Stage; Mimi in Rent in Atlanta Lyric Theatre; Caroline, or Change at Guthrie Theatre; and Molly Cunningham in Joe Turner's Come and Gone at Leila Barlow Theatre. TV/Film: Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (NBC); Macy's Day Parade (NBC); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Selma, Lord, Selma; and, most recently, Melissa on Power (Starz). feliciaboswell.com
Maritza is excited to be making her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. Maritza is a Reading, Massachusetts, native now based in New York. Regional: The Song of Bernadette at Adirondack Theatre Festival; Camelot, Sondheim on Sondheim and Into the Woods at The Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Rent at Ivoryton Playhouse; and Alice: A New Musical and Hairspray at Wheelock Family Theatre. Film: Detroit directed by Kathryn Bigelow. B.F.A. in acting from Salem State University. Maritza is also a very proud three-year touring cast member of Speak About It, a performance-based presentation about consent, boundaries and healthy relationships. Endless thanks to God, the creative team, Harriet Bass Casting, and, of course, her family and friends for all the love and support. For Gma with love. maritzabostic.com
Isaiah is excited to make his debut at The Armory with The Color Purple. Other credits include Judas (u/s) in Jesus Christ Superstar at Lyric Opera of Chicago and Tyrone in A Bronx Tale at Paper Mill Playhouse. A Bay Area/San Francisco native, Isaiah spent two years as a principal performer in the longest running musical revue in the country, Beach Blanket Babylon. Other favorite California credits include Victor in Smokey Joe’s Cafe and Otto in Spring Awakening at Center Repertory Company, and Seaweed in Hairspray at Contra Costa Musical Theatre. Isaiah is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Special thanks to the staff at The Armory for this opportunity, and West Coast friends and family for the continued support. Ashe. @isaiahboyd3069
Gregory is delighted to perform in this production of The Color Purple, his first with Portland Center Stage at The Armory. A native of Gary, Indiana, and now living in Corvallis, Oregon, Gregory spent many years in Madison, Wisconsin, working with the Children's Theater of Madison, as well as performing and teaching with other companies. He is currently a regular chorister with Portland Opera, and has performed as a soloist and/or chorister with Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Madison Opera, The Dallas Opera, Virginia Opera and Wichita Grand Opera. His favorite musical roles include: Jim in Big River; Booker T. Washington in Ragtime and Javert in Les Misérables. Next up is Stumptown Stages’ Jesus Christ Superstar as Caiaphas. Gregory received his degree in theater from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thanks to Roberta for her constant support.
Lauren is excited to be making her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut. She began her career in Washington, D.C., after receiving her B.F.A. from Howard University, working at theaters such as The Kennedy Center (Orphie in Orphie and the Book of Heroes), Signature Theatre and Ford’s Theatre. Since moving back to her hometown, Seattle, she’s been seen on stage at The 5th Avenue Theatre in The Pajama Game, Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend), Holiday Inn and Man of La Mancha (Antonia), and at Village Theatre in Dreamgirls (Deena), My Heart Is the Drum (Kanika) and String (Lachesis). Lauren is an original cast member of the nationally syndicated PBS television show, Biz Kid$, and she also writes and produces her own content and manages a blog on health and wellness. Thank you for the support and love from her family and friends and all glory to God. @justdu_pree
Lana most recently performed as Velma Kelly in Chicago on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as an original cast member of The Lion King (Nala/Shenzi) and also appeared in the revival of Jesus Christ Superstar (Soul Sister) on Broadway. An accomplished dancer, she was a member of the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble and Donald Byrd/The Group. Lana spent 10 years performing all over Europe and the Middle East in roles such as Velma in Chicago, Deloris in Sister Act, Kala in Tarzan, Anita in West Side Story, Carmen in Carmen Cubana and on the European tour of Hair as Dionne. She was also a guest vocalist for Jazz at Lincoln Center in Doha, Qatar. She is ecstatic to play the role of Shug and make her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut in this wonderful production. Lana remains grateful to God and soon-to-be husband Robert. @lanajeangordon
Broadway: South Pacific, Purlie and House of Flowers. C. Mingo has performed in several national tours, including the First National Tour of Parade directed by Harold Prince, two national tours of Les Misérables and the European tour of Higher and Higher. Off-Broadway: Samuel in Liberty: A Monumental New Musical and Under the Bridge by Kathie Lee Gifford. His favorite roles include Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in Ragtime, Delray in Memphis, Poppa in Starlight Express, Jake in Side Show, Andrew Carnes in Oklahoma!, Spotin' Life in Porgy and Bess and many others. Thanks to casting, the director and my manager, Bobbie Merrit, for their support and trusting my talent; my partner, Bob, for his continued support; and my best friends Maestro Jalmari and Dr. Reynolds. cmingolong.com
Nia is a very proud graduate of Pace University with a B.F.A. in musical theater. She was last seen as Maggie in A Chorus Line directed by Baayork Lee; Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors at Fulton Theatre; Melpomene in Xanadu; and Radio in Jeanine Tesori’s Caroline, or Change. You might have also seen Nia singing alongside Cynthia Erivo and Ben Platt in Broadway Backwards, an annual benefit concert for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, and at Elsie Fest, New York’s first music festival featuring stars and songs of the stage and screen. She would like to thank God for all of her blessings, and all of her friends and family for believing in her. Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins! @niamarche
Maiesha is thrilled to be returning to Portland Center Stage at The Armory for a third time with The Color Purple. Previously at The Armory, she was seen as Ethel Waters in the one-woman show His Eye is on the Sparrow and in Ain’t Misbehavin’. First National Tour: Waitress. Off-Broadway: Peaches. Regional highlights: Chasin’ Dem Blues, Black Nativity, Little Shop of Horrors and Show Boat. Film credits include: DayBlack (ArtistDirector Media), Down to Earth (Paramount Pictures). Maiesha previously served as co-founder and musical composer for Progress Theatre, whose work has been presented at The Public Theater, 14th Street Playhouse, The Kennedy Center and World Music Theatre Festival in Amsterdam. She holds a B.F.A. in musical theater from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, a master’s in education from Fordham University, and she spent over a decade teaching in both the public and private sectors. Love to family and tribe. Love to family, “tribe” and manager, Natarsha Garcia. @maieshamcqueen
Danea is beyond thrilled to make her Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut in The Color Purple. It’s a dream come true! Hailing from the beautiful island of Jamaica, Danea is an actor, model and singer currently residing in New York. Past credits include Tiana Vocalist at Hong Kong Disneyland, Ain't Misbehavin', Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Hairspray, Death of a Salesman, Sophisticated Ladies and the Off-Broadway hit show, Sistas the Musical. Danea fell in love with performing at the age of nine and has since been pursuing it as a career, sharing her love, passion and talent with the world. She's thankful to God, her parents, family, friends and her precious husband for their support and love.
Martavius is incredibly excited to be making his Portland Center Stage at The Armory debut in such a powerful show. He was last seen in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter at Arkansas Repertory Theatre. Other favorite credits include Jimmy in Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Ogunquit Playhouse and The Gateway; The Time Machine at New York Musical Festival; Plath. at New York International Fringe Festival; and the Equity staged reading of Words of Fire with music direction by Shelton Bector (Shuffle Along on Broadway). Martavius has been a featured performer at The Beacon Theatre and Yankee Stadium. He holds a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from Duke University and a Master of Music in vocal performance in musical theater from New York University. Thanks to his loving friends and family for their unending support. martaviusparrish.com
A native of Philadelphia, Chaz has performed for audiences around the world as a soul artist and actor. He performed the role of Harpo in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple; Billy Flynn in Chicago on Broadway; and Curtis Taylor, Jr. in the national tour of the revival of Dreamgirls. Television credits include guest starring roles in The Game, 7th Heaven, Marvel’s Luke Cage, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Blue Bloods and Haters Back Off. Film credits include Set It Off and The Temptations. An accomplished musician, composer and producer, his debut album Love & Truth is available on most major music media platforms. Chaz's charisma, passion and love shine through every performance whether in a living room, church, screen or on stage.
Shalanda is grateful for the opportunity to be back on stage. Some of her favorite credits include Dreamgirls at The Armory, The Pirates of Penzance in collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Portland Opera, Black Nativity at PassinArt: A Theatre Company and Gospel Christmas at Oregon Symphony. Shalanda is the director of World Stage Theatre, author of the newly released children’s book, Night Rhythms, and has written several plays including Church Girls, Vanport, Too Good To Be True, Full-Time Woman and Who I Am Celebrating Me. Film and television credits include The Hunted (Paramount), Extraordinary Measures (CBS Films), Leverage (TNT), Secrets of Successful Dating (Otter Creek), Harvest House (Harvest House) and Faith (Camp Productions). When not performing or writing, she’s spending quality time with her family, teaching students and involved in her community. Love and gratitude to my amazing God and family! shalandasims.com
Ithica is delighted for another round of play with Portland Center Stage at The Armory, where she was formerly seen in for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf. Ithica has had the great pleasure to perform as Ursula in Bon Temps Roulez at the Shakespeare Cafe at the Bremer Shakespeare Festival in Germany; Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar directed by Michael Streeter (PAMTA Award) and Othello in Othello at Post5 Theatre; The Selector in How We Got On at Portland Playhouse; and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Willamette Shakespeare. Ithica has appeared on Grimm (NBC), The Librarians (TNT), The Benefits of Gusbandry (web series) and Life After First Failure (CW Seed). Ithica sends love and thanks to older sister Isha for infecting her with “The Acting Bug,” and to her husband Ethan, for bringing the perfect balance to life with his love. ithicatell.com
Neil is a singer, songwriter, dancer/choreographer, performance artist and CEO of Totton Body Lab. His work blends music, video, fitness, storytelling and dance. He has danced with Ballet Black in London, served as the assistant choreographer for the national and international tours of Elton John and Tim Rice’s musical Aida, and has played leading roles in A Chorus Line, Hairspray and The Wiz. He has produced benefit concerts to support New York-based organizations that serve the needs of the LGBTQ youth and childhood sexual abuse survivors. In 2012, he wrote, produced and self-released the mixtape Becoming Relevant. Most recently, Neil conceived and produced a fitness concert The Fit Prince of New York at Hub Seventeen. He is grateful to appear in this production of The Color Purple. Praises to Abba! neiltotton.bandcamp.com
Juson is a four-time Audelco Award winner who starred in the original The Color Purple’s First National Tour and at White Plains Performing Arts Center in New York state. He is excited to be a part of the revival version here at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. A proud alumni of Boston Conservatory, his New York credits include: The Fortress of Solitude at The Public Theater; The Scottsboro Boys at Vineyard Theatre; The Wiz at Encores, City Center; and Stormy Weather and Central Avenue Breakdown at Signature Theatre. Tours and regional credits include: Bobby in Memphis, Adrian in Smokey Joe's Cafe starring Gladys Knight; Ken in Ain’t Misbehavin’; Ron in It Ain't Nothing But the Blues; and Blue in Chasin’ Dem Blues. Juson’s choir, JW’s Inspirational Singers, has been featured on the 60th Annual Grammy Awards with Sam Smith, NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He lives to inspire the world.
MEET THE ORCHESTRA
Marc, a Portland native, is a performer, conductor, composer and sound designer. While working at The Kitchen in New York, he toured with the Robert Ashley Ensemble and John Cage's Song Books. Locally, he has worked with Columbia Symphony, Newport Symphony, Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, Felicidades and Arundo!, a reed quintet. Pit work includes Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, Billy Elliot, Addams Family, West Side Story and Man of La Mancha. Marc has taught at Warner Pacific University and Reed College; is the recipient of a Meet the Composer, Inc. grant; collaborated with Ursula K. Le Guin; and recorded for Lyrichord, Nonesuch Records and CRi: Music. A specialist in the repair of professional flutes and clarinets, his favorite music is what's on the stand in front of him.
Mieke Bruggeman-Smith, Reed 2
Mieke is a performer, educator, composer, arranger and the education and community coordinator for the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble (PJCE). She performs regularly with the all-female sax quartet, Quadraphonnes; the Afro-Cuban band, Melao de Cuba; PJCE; Mystery Seed; and the Ezra Weiss Big Band; as well as performing in musicals. Recent productions at The Armory include: Fun Home, Dreamgirls and Fiddler on the Roof. Mieke also enjoys teaching private lessons at her home studio and co-teaching at Roosevelt High School, Beaumont Middle School and the Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra. She is heavily involved in promoting music education and loves collaborating with her music community. Music is the one outlet that, as author Tom Robbins might say, keeps the oxygen from leaking out of her life!
Levis Dragulin, Trumpet
Levis began performing on trumpet when he was 11 years old. In 2006, he was awarded a Bachelor of Science in music from Portland State University. His work on Royal Caribbean cruise lines as lead trumpet for the theater band allowed him to travel the world for four years to places such as Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. In the last six years, Levis has been involved in around 30 musical productions in the Portland area, including Annie Get Your Gun, Bye Bye Birdie, South Pacific, La Cage aux Folles, Cats, My Fair Lady, Beauty and the Beast, Show Boat, The Music Man, Dreamgirls, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Chicago, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy and Billy Elliot.
Ross Seligman, Guitar/Dobro/Harmonica
Ross is thrilled to be back home at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Most recently, Ross was music director and guitarist for the regional tour and Broadway production of A Night With Janis Joplin, which originated here at The Armory. Other Portland Center Stage credits include West Side Story, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Fantasticks, Cabaret and It Ain't Nothin But the Blues. Ross is a board member of the Bridgetown Conservatory of Musical Theatre, and, when he is not making music, Ross is a principal real estate broker at Living Room Realty here in Portland. Limitless love and gratitude to my extraordinary wife, Leah Yorkston, son Max and baby girl on the way.
Will is delighted to be back at Portland Center Stage at The Armory for The Color Purple. He has previously been a member of the pit orchestra for The Fantastics, West Side Story, Cabaret, Ain't Misbehavin', Little Shop Of Horrors and Fun Home at The Armory. Portland credits include Les Miserables, Gypsy and Always … Patsy Cline at Broadway Rose Theatre Company; Mars On Life at Artists Repertory Theatre; The Full Monty at Pixie Dust Productions and others. Will plays and tours with Christian Kane, Echo Helstrom, Garett Brennan, The Heritage and Pink Lady & the John Bennett Jazz Band. He teaches upright and electric bass and cello. He would like to thank his wife Nicole, who is probably putting their two boys to bed right about now.
Mitch Wilson, Drums
Mitch is an accomplished musician and performer. A student with Portland jazz royalty Mel Brown and Thara Memory, and a graduate of The New School Jazz, Mitch has performed with Taylor Momsen, Mike Tyson and on Broadway. Mitch was the founding drummer and on the creative team for Tony Award-nominated A Night With Janis Joplin at The Armory in 2011 and went on to open Janis on Broadway in 2013 after a two-year national tour. Other Broadway credits include: The Last Ship written by and starring Sting and Liberty: A Monumental New Musical. Now in Portland, Mitch performs for The Armory and Broadway Rose Theatre Company as well as leading the band, S.O.S., A Tribute To The Police.
MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM
Marsha Norman, Book
Marsha won the Pulitzer Prize for her play, ‘night, Mother and a Tony Award for her book of the Broadway musical, The Secret Garden. Ms. Norman is co-chair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwriting Department of the Juilliard School and vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America. Her other plays include Getting Out, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Trudy Blue and Last Dance. Her published work includes Four Plays, Vol. I: Collected Plays of Marsha Norman and a novel, The Fortune Teller. She has numerous film and TV credits, Grammy and Emmy nominations, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is a native of Kentucky who lives in New York and Long Island with her two children.
Brenda Russell, Music & Lyrics
Brenda has a unique musical perspective, intimate voice and prolific treasure-trove of lyrics that prove that a truly glowing talent only deepens with time. Composer of the classics "Get Here," "If Only For One Night," and the Grammy-nominated "Piano In The Dark," Brenda's songwriting prowess and chameleon-like ability to shift between musical genres and combine styles trumpeted ovations in 2005 with the opening of the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical The Color Purple, for which she, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray co-wrote the music and lyrics. Brenda and her co-authors were also nominated for a 2007 Grammy in the Best Musical Show Album category for the original cast album.
Music & Lyrics
Allee is a one-woman creative think-tank. A multi-disciplinary artist and visionary thinker whose range of imagination and productivity knows no bounds, her success exuberantly defies categorization; 'unique' pales as a descriptor. Willis is a Grammy-winning and Emmy- and Tony- nominated composer whose hit songs — including Earth, Wind and Fire's "September" and "Boogie Wonderland," The Pointer Sisters' 'Neutron Dance," Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield's "What Have I Done To Deserve This," and The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There For You” (Theme From Friends)" – have sold more than 50 million records. In 2006, Willis' songs were also featured in three of the top grossing films of the year, Happy Feet, Night at the Museum and Babel.
Stephen Bray, Music & Lyrics
Stephen is thrilled to be making his Broadway debut with The Color Purple. After beginning music studies with private instruction in Detroit, Bray continued training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Working with Madonna, he wrote and produced many of her top 10 recordings, including "Angel," "Into the Groove," "Papa Don't Preach," "True Blue" and "Express Yourself." Performing with Breakfast Club, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and a top 10 single. He has composed and produced for multiplatinum artists, including The Jets, Gladys Knight and Kylie Minogue. Film and television projects include Beverly Hills Cop II, Who’s That Girl?, All About The Benjamins and the theme for PBS's California Connected. Stephen is developing artists for his Soultone label and looks forward to more musical theater. He would like to thank his daughter Milena for her eternal patience and his family for their continuing support.
Timothy Douglas, Director
Timothy returns to Portland Center Stage at The Armory after directing the productions of Anna in the Tropics, A Feminine Ending and His Eye is on the Sparrow. He is a New York-based theater director who currently serves as an associate artist at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where he has staged seven productions, including the world premiere of Keith Josef Adkins’ Safe House. Recent credits include Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced for the Great Theatre of China (Shanghai); Seven Guitars for Yale Repertory Theatre; Nina Simone: Four Women, Disgraced and King Hedley II for Arena Stage; Father Comes Home from the Wars, parts 1, 2 and 3 for Round House Theatre; Richard II for Shakespeare & Company and BRONTE: A Portrait of Charlotte presented Off-Broadway. Timothy counts among his many productions the world premieres of August Wilson’s Radio Golf for Yale Repertory Theatre; Rajiv Joseph’s The Lake Effect for Silk Road Rising (2013 Jeff Award for Best New Work) and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (six Helen Hayes Award nominations) for Theater Alliance. He was the associate artistic director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2001-2004, where he directed 16 productions including three Humana Festival premieres. The list of theaters Timothy has made productions for include American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, Downstage (New Zealand), Folger Shakespeare, Guthrie Theater, Juilliard, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Pioneer Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Public Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, South Coast Repertory, Steppenwolf Theatre, Sundance Theatre Lab/Morocco, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and many others. Timothy earned his M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama.
Music Director/Conductor/Keys 1
Off-Broadway: This Ain’t No Disco, Futurity, Three Little Birds. Off-Off Broadway: Raisin (AUDELCO Award Outstanding Music Direction). Regional: The Wiz at Ford’s Theater; Nina Simone: Four Women (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Music Direction) at Arena Stage; Jelly's Last Jam (Helen Hayes nomination for Outstanding Music Direction), La Cage aux Folles, Soon at Signature Theatre; The Producers, Once on this Island at Olney Theatre Center; and Choir Boy (Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Music Direction) at Marin Theatre Company. Original works: Marcus Nate is Alive and Great and Living in Detroit (workshop), The Snowy Day (Best TYA Production, Helen Hayes nomination); U.G.L.Y. (Signature Theater SigWorks MT Lab, The Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage). Upcoming: Nina Simone: Four Women (Bermuda), The Watsons Go to Birmingham (The Kennedy Center), A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons).
Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Choreographer
Dubbed the “Ancient Jazz Priestess of Mother Africa,” Lady Dane is a Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American performance artist, two-time Helen Hayes Award nominated choreographer (2016, 2018), author, teacher, speech writer, advocate, playwright (Absalom, Kyltmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem, Guilty, Roaring: The Musical, For Black Trans Girls), founding member of Force Collision, and a coeditor of the Black Trans Prayer Book. She is the founder of The Inanna D Initiatives, which curates, produces and cultivates events and initiatives designed to center and celebrate the work of Trans and Gender NonConforming artists of color. She is the first Trans woman of color (TWOC) to be nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (2016) and the first TWOC in Washington, D.C., to publish a work of fiction, Yemaya’s Daughters (2013), and have her play, Absalom, chosen for Theater Alliance’s Hothouse Festival and The Kennedy Center’s Prelude Festival.
Tony has collaborated with Mr. Douglas on over 30 productions, including Anna in the Tropics and A Feminine Ending for Portland Center Stage at The Armory; Hospice + Pointing at the Moon at Alliance Theatre; Disgraced and King Hedley II at Arena Stage; A Raisin in the Sun at Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage; The Trip to Bountiful at Cleveland Play House; and productions at South Coast Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Pioneer Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Folger Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, Theater Alliance and the Guthrie Theater. Select credits at The Armory include Astoria: Part One and Two, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Our Town, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sometimes a Great Notion. His work has also been seen at Roundabout Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Two River Theater, New York Theatre Workshop and The Kennedy Center.
Regional: Ragtime and The Mountaintop at Trinity Repertory Company; The Wiz at Ford’s Theatre; Seven Guitars and We, the invisibles at Actors Theatre of Louisville; A Raisin in the Sun at Indiana Repertory Theatre and Syracuse Stage; Nina Simone: Four Women at Arena Stage; A Guide for the Homesick at Huntington Theatre Company; In the Heights at Geva Theatre; Native Gardens at the Guthrie Theater and Arena Stage; The Legend of Georgia McBride at Marin Theatre Company; Barbecue at Geffen Playhouse (NAACP Award for Best Costume Design); Ethel and God of Carnage at Alliance Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing and The Comedy of Errors at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Safe House at Cincinnati Playhouse. New York: Dot at Vineyard Theatre. Assistant costume design for television: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Season 2, Amazon); Daredevil (Season 2, Netflix) and Boardwalk Empire (Season 5, HBO). Training: NYU Tisch School of the Arts. karaharmondesign.com
Peter is pleased to return to Portland Center Stage at The Armory, where previous work includes His Eye is on the Sparrow, Great Expectations, Threesome, Othello, Ragtime, Crazy Enough, West Side Story, Anna in the Tropics, Hamlet, King Lear and Terra Nova, among many others. He is also the lighting designer for the lobby spaces of The Armory. On Broadway, he designed the lighting for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Kentucky Cycle, and Off-Broadway, Threesome, Hurrah at Last and Ballad of Yachiyo. Peter has designed more than 300 productions for such companies as the Guthrie Theater, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Old Globe Theatre and South Coast Repertory. He is the author, under his pen name Peter Alexei, of the novels The Masked Avenger and The Queen of Spades.
Matthew M. Nielson, Sound Designer
Off-Broadway: The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, 59E59 Theaters and Lincoln Center. Regional: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Delaware Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Barrington Stage Company, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre and Theater Alliance. Film and television: The Hero Effect, Death in Time, Elbow Grease, Blue, Epix Drive-In, From Hell to Here and The Long Road. Nielson is a founding member of the audio theater company The Audible Group and creator of the audio web series Troublesome Gap. He has won several Helen Hayes Awards and various film festival awards for his work in theater, film and television. He currently runs the post-production house and recording studio Sound Lab Studios and the production music library Curious Music Company.
Associate Sound Designer
Sharath was raised between Appalachia and India, and spent the following years studying across Europe and New England. Recent designs: Artists Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, 12th Avenue Arts, East West Players, Tantrum Theatre, Portland Playhouse and Profile Theatre. Additional designs credits in New York City, Washington D.C., Norfolk, Raleigh, Aspen, India, France, England, Germany and Romania. He has previously served as a visiting assistant professor, lead designer, guest artist, instructor and lecturer at Reed College, Yale, Columbia, Fordham University, Willamette University, Ohio University, Portland State University and Butler University. Sharath is a member of the Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association (TSDCA) and is an arts envoy for the U.S. Department of State. He holds an M.F.A. in sound design from the Yale School of Drama and is very proud to be a resident artist at Artists Repertory Theatre.
Jeffrey Childs, Associate Music Director/Keys 2
Jeffrey is a Portland-based music director, pianist and vocal coach. Previously at The Armory, Jeffrey was conductor for Little Shop of Horrors and assistant music director for Dreamgirls, Fiddler on the Roof and Sweeney Todd. Local credits include Guys and Dolls, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The World Goes ‘Round (Drammy and PAMTA awards) and many more at Broadway Rose; James and the Giant Peach, Jasper in Deadland, A Year With Frog and Toad (Drammy Award) and others with Oregon Children’s Theatre; and Violet and 13: The Musical with Staged!. Jeffrey is also an instructor for summer camps and classes at Oregon Children’s Theatre and Spotlight Musical Theatre Academy. Before moving to Portland, he owned and operated Theatre ETC., a performing arts school for children, was the staff accompanist at California State University, Chico, and a member of the Broadway Junior development team at Music Theatre International in New York.
Janine Vanderhoff, Stage Manager
Janine is thrilled to be back for her fourth season at The Armory. Last season, she stage managed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Kodachrome and A Christmas Memory/Winter Song. Other favorites include: Wild and Reckless, Lauren Weedman Doesn't Live Here Anymore, The Santaland Diaries, The Oregon Trail, Great Expectations, Our Town and JAW: A Playwrights Festival. In New York, Janine had the opportunity to work on The Lion King on Broadway, as well as with many Off-Broadway and regional companies. Portland credits: Portland Opera’s Sweeney Todd, DC Copeland's Play, Portland Playhouse's How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes and The Other Place. Touring: The Graduate (starring Morgan Fairchild), Cats, The Vagina Monologues, Jekyll & Hyde and Show Boat. Production management: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart “Democalypse 2012 Republican National Convention” (Tampa, FL); Straz Center (Tampa, FL); The Fox Theatre (Atlanta, GA). Proud NYU graduate and AEA member.
Kristen Mun, Assistant Stage Manager & Fight Choreographer
Kristen is originally from the island of Oahu and holds a B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University. She is excited to return for her sixth season at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Previous credits at The Armory include stage manager for Constellations and Major Barbara; assistant stage manager for Fun Home and Astoria: Part Two; and production assistant on many others. Fiddler on the Roof, LIZZIE, Threesome, Three Days of Rain, Forever, Each and Every Thing, A Streetcar Named Desire, Hold These Truths and His Eye is on the Sparrow. Kristen has been in the world of stage combat and fight choreography for almost 15 years and has been awarded a Drammy Award for Best Fight Choreography for her work on Tender Napalm (2018), Henry IV, Part I (2013), Oedipus El Rey (2012) and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (2012). Outside of Portland, she has choreographed at Utah Shakespeare Festival and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Thank you to Adam and her family for always having her back. I love you mom!
Alexis is thrilled to be starting her first season as a stage management apprentice at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. Outside of Portland, she has worked at Huntington Theater Company as the production assistant for Tartuffe; ArtsEmerson as the assistant stage manager for the world premiere of Mala; Cygnet Theatre as the production assistant for Animal Crackers; and stage manager for staged readings of Spamalot and Hair. Alexis studied stage and production management at Emerson College, where she worked on Antigone Project as the stage manager and Guys and Dolls as the production assistant. She also enjoys working on conventions, and has spent four years volunteering and then working for VidCon, an online video convention. Alexis would like to send love to her parents and sister, who have always been extremely supportive of her.
Molly Shevaun Reed, Production Assistant
Molly is thrilled to be joining Portland Center Stage at The Armory this season as a stage management apprentice, where she most recently served as a production assistant for JAW: A Playwrights Festival (Pick a Color and The Birds of Empathy). Originally from Denton, Texas, Molly has worked in stage management, props design and developing new work as a director in Dallas and Portland. Local credits include Spectravagasm X (stage manager), the one-woman original play Endless Oceans (director/designer/producer) and The Few at CoHo Productions (assistant director/production assistant). Dallas credits include Dry Land at Upstart Theater (stage manager) and Nomad Americana (formerly titled Rooting) at Nouveau 47 Theatre and WaterTower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival (director/designer). Molly holds a B.F.A. in theater performance from Baylor University. Love and thanks to Cam, Fam, Lyss and Bear.
Portland Center Stage at The Armory is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).